Parenting blogs are still talking about Lawrence Downes’ New York Times commentary, “Middle School Girls Gone Wild,” which starts at a school talent show.
(Tweens) “writhe and strut, shake their bottoms, splay their legs, thrust their chests out and in and out again. Some straddle empty chairs, like lap dancers without laps. They don’t smile much. Their faces are locked from grim exertion, from all that leaping up and lying down without poles to hold onto. ”Don’t stop don’t stop,” sings Janet Jackson, all whispery. ”Jerk it like you’re making it choke. Ohh. I’m so stimulated. Feel so X-rated.” The girls spend a lot of time lying on the floor. They are in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades.
It’s not adolescent rebellion. The parents are cheering their daughters at an official school function. Questioning “whether simulated intercourse is an appropriate dance style for the high school gym,” Downes complaints “parents of even younger girls seem to have gotten in step with society’s march toward eroticized adolescence — either willingly or through abject surrender. And if parents give up, what can a school do?”